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The way our day begins.
Mornings are the least structured part of my day. Ever since Alex was born in April, sleep takes precedence over anything else that might occur early in the morning: a workout, a shower, a quiet cup of coffee. I get up when I hear one child crying or another one crawls into bed next to me and starts feeling my face like that girl in the Lionel Richie video.
Today it’s a hungry Alex first, then Ceci, who drags in two blankets, a pillow pet, and a copy of Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See? Pretty soon the three kids have taken over our bed and are being way cuter and happier than they normally are at this time. They take turns sitting in each other’s laps with their arms wrapped around one another like a much less awkward version of a prom picture.
During breakfast, Maggie wants me to read them books. This request always annoys me; I really don’t want to. I already need to feed the baby and myself, and reading The Berenstain Bears and the Prize Pumpkin in between bites feels like a little too much. At the same time, I don’t want to kill the happy mood, so I oblige. Maggie wants me to wear a tiara while I read, but Ceci wants the tiara too, and in the end I end up taking it from my two-year-old and placing it on my own head. Mom wins this time; it doesn’t happen that often.
Ceci starts complaining that her teeth are hurting her. I don’t doubt it. Her molars are working their way in, making my girl miserable. I grab a teething ring from the freezer to humor her. “Is cold!” she keeps squealing, holding her hands out for us to feel. Of course Maggie wants one too. They listen to me read with the pink and orange rings hanging out of their mouths like door knockers.
I tell them that it’s time to brush teeth and head out to preschool. They beat me upstairs. They have a new hiding spot, in Ceci and Alex’s closet, where they climb into Huggies value boxes full of clothes that they’ve outgrown. All I have to do is follow the giggles.
While I finish getting dressed (Yoga pants, obviously. It’s possible I might get to work out at some point today… ), the older girls play a game of their own invention that involves tossing the teething rings onto my bedroom floor, which is lava. At one point Maggie screams, “Mom’s a can so we can eat her beans inside her!” It’s not the strangest thing she’s ever said, but it’s up there.
Next year Maggie will be in kindergarten, and we’ll have to get our acts together. Alarms will need to be set. Outfits will need to be laid out ahead of time. Lunches will need to be made. We won’t have as much time for reading or playing or hiding. This is what I tell myself when the crazy starts to get to me. Just let it happen, mama. You’ll miss it when it’s gone.